City of Roses
I believe both the Republican and Democratic parties myself have become far too corporately-influenced.
Though it is true I voted for the Democratic ticket last month, because I saw Bush exactly THAT bad to the point I believed the sufficient move was to go Kerry, I do not consider myself a Democrat and at this rate may never will. I lean far more to the ethics of the Green Party.
In my experience with activism, I've noticed there to be three main types of progressive groups; the Michael Moore progressives, the more mainstream version, and then the LaRouche/ progressives, who are far more extreme and often like to use tough words like "fascist" in their dialogue, and then the kind of middle ground in-between where all the storming and norming rests.
Ralph Nader made many sensible arguments over the past few months regarding Democrats as "crypto-Republicans" in many senses, though where we disagree is how we go about solving this two-party duopoly, where he believes the solution is to end the Democratic Party, where I believe instead it should be fixed from the inside, not imploded from the outside.
I wish the Democrats could look about and beyond and try and find the real storytellers out there, those who do know the true democratic, progressive values and can do what the Republicans do best and make concise, accessible messages of just what their values system is. And if they truly don't believe they have one, they should adopt those of the Green Party. Non-violence. Economic justice. Ecological wisdom. Sustainability. Celebration of diversity. And so forth.
I believe a majority of Americans would already agree with many of the Green Party's ideas. They're just simply below the radar, all because of this two-party system, and the way we decide our candidates on Iowa and New Hampshire primaries.
Kerry won because of the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries. It was inevitable whoever won Iowa would win the Democratic nomination because of the Anybody But Bush bandwagon. And because Kerry took advantage of his fine debate abilities and town-hall speech persona, he happened to have come up on top in Iowa, upsetting Dean. Had Kucinich come on top in Iowa, he would have been Bush's challenger. Had Dean come up on top in Iowa, he would have been Bush's challenger.
Plainly, the Democrats didn't give Kerry the nomination, Iowa did. We need to reform this democratic process so that all states are represented in the primaries.
What I believe has to be done between now and 2008 is we have to get that ITC ballot enforced, a reformed sort of ballot where you can select your candidates from favorite to second favorite to third favorite, so in the event where a candidate does not receive a majority of the vote, the winner is determined based on secondary popularity. Not only that, but under this ballot system, third party candidates are also represented.
Secondly, both the Democrats and third parties simply need to work hard. Work, work, work. Don't slack off until the last minute, and see to it 2008 isn't a familiar sight to 2004. 95% of the Democratic delegates are against the war in Iraq, a majority against the Patriot Act and the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the privatization of Social security, etc. That should really mean something. Unfortunately, those in control of the DNC don't seem to have the passion a majority of the party does.
MoveOn gets a lot of credit for empowering a lot of grassroots organizing and community-building, and I believe they have done many great things, though I do indeed find it selfish or arrogant how they said, "Now it's our Party: we bought it, we own it, and we're going to take it back." without letting us know of this "outsider" they see promise in. Shouldn't we have the right to know. After all, they believe it is OUR party, so should we trust putting it in the hands of someone who not even the most devoted of the organization are acquainted with?
Both Ford and Balladeer are right they shouldn't boldly address themselves as the "heirs" of the DNC. That just doesn't live up to the nature of even the party's name. Or...oh yeah...if this party will continue to be corporately influenced...then in fact it may actually be completely true...
All I believe is this Democratic Party just isn't currently living up to its name; not being very "democratic". It's time they listen up for the widespread demands of a living wage, which 1/3 of Americans don't have. It's time a basic health care plan is adopted. It's time, frankly, they return to their roots, unless they were uprooted long ago.
"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20